She Earned a Sport Management Degree And Now Works At The Biggest Indoor Sport Complex In North America

by Kelsey Madas

December 20, 2018

When Ky-Leigh (Hallman ‘14) Leighty started looking at colleges, she had already narrowed down her search. Coming in at the top of her list were just four schools – all of them Christian universities or Bible colleges.

So what made her choose Lancaster Bible College?

“Once I visited LBC’s campus, I knew there was no other place for me,” said Leighty. “I instantly felt like I was at home. I also knew that I wanted a biblical education, and I knew I would get that at LBC. It was very important to me to surround myself with people who had the same vales that I had.” LBC certainly checked off a lot of boxes on her list.

So in 2010, Leighty enrolled in the sport management program at LBC. At the time, she wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to do, but she did know one thing: she was passionate about sports. “I was never the best athlete on the field or the fastest,” she explained. “But I made so many friendships and memories along the way that I knew I wanted to make a career out of it.” As it turned out, the sport management program was just the right fit for her, combining her natural knack for business and her passion for athletics. “One of one of the most valuable pieces of information I learned in the program is that sport management is such a diverse degree – you can do so much with it!” she said. “Initially, I was worried that when it came time to interview for jobs and internships that I would be overlooked because I graduated from a Bible college. But LBC’s reputation precedes them! My professor also assured me that I would have the exact same credentials as another candidate who earned a degree in spot management and applied for the job.” It’s also important to note that Lancaster Bible College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education – the same accrediting body that lends its credentials to Ivy League institutions like Columbia University and Princeton University, along with many other reputable college and universities. And as of 2017, LBC’s sport management program became accredited by the Commission on Sport Management Accreditation

Leighty also said that she was grateful for the college’s stellar academic support services. “I spent a lot of my days in the Ally Center with Dr. Shirley Tucker,” she said, referring to the college’s center that offers academic, writing and disability services to LBC students. “Over my four years, I came to know Dr. Tucker and her staff very well. They all helped me to succeed in my classes by providing me with the additional resources I needed. They always encouraged me to do my best while also making sure I was putting in the work to be successful.” She also found her Bible classes to be incredibly enlightening. “When I arrived at LBC, I didn’t know the Bible inside and out,” Leighty explained. “I was very new to really diving into the Word, and it was great how the Bible classes really eased the students into that specific subject.”

Remember how Leighty was worried about not getting a job because she attended a Bible college? As it turns out, her fears were unfounded, just like her professor said. During the process of applying for summer internships, she heard about an opening at an up-and-coming sports complex in Manheim, Pennsylvania called Spooky Nook Sports. “I actually had a backup internship lined up in case I wasn’t accepted to Spooky Nook,” explained Leighty. “But I really wanted the internship. Spooky Nook is the biggest indoor sport complex in North America – to any sport management student who is interested in recreation management, it’s like watching Jesus feed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish – jaw dropping. It’s crazy that we have the biggest and the best right in our backyard in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I wanted to be a part of something huge – that is why I decided to pursue Spooky Nook Sports.” While Leighty was serving on a mission’s trip to Jamaica with LBC, she received word that she’d been selected for the internship – and later, she was hired as employee number 18 at the company that’s now to grown to 650.

Today, Leighty is the assistant manager of retail and entertainment at Spooky Nook Sports. What does that mean? “I oversee the staff in Champs Locker, Spooky Nook’s on-site retail store, and the arcade,” she said. “I also take care of the day-to-day operations in the store. Anything and everything from checking inventory, change the layout and look of the store, scheduling and purchasing merchandise. My days are not boring, that’s for sure!” She said she loves the atmosphere at Spooky Nook and has enjoyed developing more sport management skills on the job nearly every day. “I get to use creativity and passion every day,” she said. “’And I have the amazing opportunity to serve others around me. I also get to work with kids in high school and coach them in the workforce. That is important to me and that’s just a few reasons why I love my job.”  It sounds like Leighty has found her place – or nook, if you will. She gives credit to her caring and hands-on professors at LBC for teaching her the ins and outs of the industry, along with plenty of hard work. “I worked hard to get where I am today and it wasn’t easy,” she said. “Just like anyone else, I have really great days and I have bad days. The important thing is that we all learn from those bad days, learn from it and move forward. That is what LBC showed me – that working hard isn’t easy, but working harder than everyone else has its rewards.”

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